yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


Gordon H. Turner, Sr.

From Gordon H. Turner, Sr., "Scotts Hill Area Doctors Who Lived and Practiced Mostly in Outlying Communities but Were Related to the Town in Some Way and Did Limited Practice In-Near Town," Chapter 11, Part 2, of The History of Scotts Hill, Tennessee (Carter Printing Company, Southaven, Mississippi, 1977).

LOWERY, Dr. Robert, was surely an eccentric if there ever was one. Born in Ireland in 1812, he emigrated to S. Carolina from whose university Medical College he earned an M.D. Degree in 1831 at age 19. He was the youngest in his class and rated 7th best. His thesis was on Typhus Fever.

The Irishman somehow settled for practice, farming and slave-trading, nearer Saltillo where he acquired big land holdings. The Henderson Co. 1850 Census lists him as a farmer-physician with 15 slaves. By 1860 he is shown with 30 slaves some of whom, if reports are true, were his own children by slave girls. He controlled 640 acres of land before he died Oct. 5, 1872 but was bankrupt. His total assets did not cover all his debts including much to Saltillo merchants.

No record has been found of Dr. Lowery's medical practice except possibly among his slaves and neighbors. He was preeminently a slave-holder and farmer. It is to be doubted that he was as cruel to his slaves as reports had it. When I was a lad however, oldest citizens here said he was known for his stern mastery and ruled by brute force when any slave got out of hand. The doctor was buried among the slaves of whom he was master, some 8 miles S-E of Scotts Hill in the long-deserted Lowery (or "Old Negro") Graveyard.

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